Healthy Waterways’ Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program, established in 1999, is one of the most comprehensive freshwater, estuarine and marine monitoring programs in Australia. The Program delivers a regional assessment of the ambient ecosystem health for each of South East Queensland’s 19 major catchments, 18 river estuaries and nine zones in Moreton Bay.
Through the Program, Healthy Waterways produces an annual Report Card which has been instrumental in tracking the ecosystem health of our waterways and informing management actions across the region.
Healthy Waterways has been working with our members and scientific experts to expand our Monitoring Program to include social and economic indicators. Monitoring has commenced to capture data on community stewardship and the economic benefit of our waterways for inclusion in the Report Card from 2015 onwards. This will enable a wholistic, triple-bottom-line approach to waterway management.
In addition, the environmental component of our monitoring has undergone extensive reform to ensure our monitoring remains scientifically robust, relevant and cost-effective. Healthy Waterways intends to introduce improvements to environmental monitoring through the use of new technology, such as predictive modelling and near continuous water quality equipment, to directly assess the effectiveness of waterway initiatives. Successful implementation requires new capital investment. The optimised program and revised Healthy Waterways Report Card will have numerous advantages which will provide considerable benefits to Healthy Waterways’ members and the broader community.